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Cover European Union Politics

3. Carrying the EU Forward: The Era of Lisbon  

Clive Church and David Phinnemore

This chapter explores how the EU ended a long period of constitutional change by agreeing the Treaty of Lisbon and used it to face new challenges of financial crisis, Brexit, and Covid-19—the latter events leading to thoughts that further treaty change might be needed. The process started with the 2002–03 Convention on the Future of Europe leadin to the Constitutional Treaty of 2004 and in October 2007 produced the Treaty of Lisbon which eventually entered into force on 1 December 2009. Its implementation was complicated by the eurozone crisis, resulting in extra-treaty arrangements and another treaty amendment. Although the official appetite for treaty reform all but evaporated in the 2010s, the UK’s June 2016 vote to quit the EU raised the hopes for further changes. The end of the 2010s and into the 2020s saw Brexit being negotiated within the terms of the Treaty of European Union the EU’s treaty agreeing measures to deal with the Covid-19 pandemic. Calls for treaty revision continued but active steps to re-negotiate the consolidated treaties have not yet begun.


Cover Politics in the European Union

9. Maastricht and Amsterdam (the Late 1980s to the Late 1990s)  

This chapter examines two important developments in the history of the European Union (EU): the signing of the Maastricht and Amsterdam Treaties. In June 1989, the European Council agreed to European Commission President Jacques Delors’s three-stage plan for monetary union by 1999, despite British opposition. In 1991, intergovernmental conferences (IGCs) were held on both monetary union and political union. The proposals of these IGCs were incorporated into the Treaty on European Union (TEU), agreed at Maastricht in December 1991. The TEU marked a major step on the road to European integration. It committed most of the member states to adopting a single currency and introduced the concept of European citizenship, among others. This chapter considers the events leading up to the signing of the TEU, from the Maastricht negotiations to the issue of enlargement, the 1996 IGC, and the Treaty of Amsterdam.